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Fascination of Plants Day: celebrate the power of plants

From one little seed planted in soil, many things can arise: our food, feed, paper, medicines, chemicals, energy and an enjoyable landscape – pretty much everything we need to survive on this planet.

On Wednesday 18th May, join scientific institutions, universities, botanical gardens, museums, schools, farmers and businesses all around the world and take part in Fascination of Plants Day. The event seeks to plant virtual ‘seeds’ in our minds to highlight the critical role of plants in our everyday lives.

Aberdeen forensic science conference explores role of animals, plants and soil in criminal inquiries

Forensic scientists from across Europe are gathering in Aberdeen for the ninth meeting of the Animal, Plant and Soil Traces (APST) Working Group of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI). Around 50 experts are expected to attend the three-day event being held at the James Hutton Institute’s Craigiebuckler site on 27-29 April.

The 9th ENFSI-APST meeting will showcase the crucial role that soil and biological traces of non-human origin can play in criminal investigations.

Arable Scotland returns to the field with focus on net-zero and markets

Arable Scotland, the country’s premier arable event featuring knowledge and solutions for the arable industry, returns to the field in 2022 with a focus on net-zero carbon emissions and markets. The one-day event will take place at Balruddery Farm near Dundee on Tuesday 5 July, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, and is free to attend.

REECAP network awarded prize for Agri-Environmental Innovation

The Research Network on Economic Experiments for the Common Agricultural Policy (REECAP), which aims to create bridges across evaluation communities and encourage knowledge exchange with policy makers, has been awarded the annual Center for Behavioural & Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR) Prize for Agri-Environmental Innovation.

Rural affairs secretary visits Climate-Positive Farming Initiative at Glensaugh

The Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon MSP, visited the James Hutton Institute’s Glensaugh Research Farm, near Laurencekirk, site of our Climate-Positive Farming Initiative.

Climate-positive farming is a transformational approach to farming that achieves net-zero or even negative carbon emissions, whilst also protecting and enhancing the natural assets of a farm and ensuring long-term financial sustainability of the farm business.

Scotland's flux tower network improved for better understanding of impact of peatland restoration

The flux tower network in Scotland is to be extended and enhanced to better understand the carbon and climate impact of restoring peatlands. Supported by over £1 million of Scottish Government funding, three additional flux towers to be operated by the James Hutton Institute will join the current network and all nine of the towers currently in the network will be upgraded.

The data from flux towers is used to measure greenhouse gas emissions from soils and degraded peatland and show how the emissions change after restoration. 

Circularity in integrated agricultural systems may be key to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions

Intensification and the separation of crops, livestock and forestry production systems in agriculture contributes greatly to climate change and biodiversity loss. A new 1.33 million European funded project, co-ordinated by researchers at the James Hutton Institute, will aim to find measures that can improve circularity in crop-forest-livestock integrated systems and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emission.

Major research effort to save future of European peatlands

A five-year, £3.7m research project involving scientists from across the UK and partners across Europe will assess the risk that climate change poses to our peatlands and create the capability to better manage these important ecosystems. 

Peatlands store huge amounts of carbon in their natural state, but due to human activity they are now a net source of greenhouse gases. Rapid climate change is hampering efforts to restore peatlands, increasing the likelihood of them being pushed beyond the point of recovery and releasing even more carbon into the atmosphere.

Professor Robin Pakeman elected Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management

Professor Robin Pakeman, a plant ecologist at the James Hutton Institute, has received the honour of being elected a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM).

Formed in 1991 as the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, CIEEM is the leading professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers in the UK, Ireland and abroad. CIEEM’s leadership was recognised in 2013 when the organisation was awarded its Royal Charter status.

Community landowners – what type of agricultural activity is carried out on your land?

Researchers from the James Hutton Institute are calling on community landowners from across Scotland to help them develop a greater understanding of the agricultural activity carried out on their land.  The research also explores perceptions of agriculture, and as such is open to all Community Landowners, whether or not they have agricultural activity on their land.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.